At the beginning of the new year many people wanted to improve their health as well as their weight. Especially because we constantly hear that being overweight is an added risk with COVID-19 .
So many of us have started moving more, like walking every day, cycling and exercising within the home and this is good and a healthy thing to do. Similarly, many of us have tried to improve our diet, eating more vegetables, less carbs and adding in good fats, as well as drinking more water. However, after being able to lose weight during the first month, some may notice that the weight loss has stopped, which is frustrating and may lead us to fall back on old habits, like eating more carbs or sugary snacks again. We tell ourselves to stop because only then will we lose the weight again, but after a hard day of working from home, taking care of the kids and often home schooling them, and the lockdown, it’s not easy to control ourselves and keep making the ‘right’ choices! Do you ever notice how stress can play a major role in this?
A lot of stress and long-term stress can ensure that the body continues to ask for sugar-rich foods and, therefore, the weight continues to increase, and fat loss is blocked.
The body immediately reacts to a stressful situation by producing a hormone called cortisol, among other things. Cortisol ensures that our blood sugar increases by releasing sugars. This way you have enough energy to fight or flee. After such a reaction, the body needs to replenish the energy supply for the next stressful situation and very often a sweet craving follows.
Such a stress reaction is normal, and we can recover quite well from it. But nowadays we often suffer from stress that does not require us to fight or flee. Consider, for example, a tight deadline, worries about covid-19, a very busy schedule with work and kids or study, poor sleep, financial pressure, etc…, the body is in a constant state of alertness and, therefore, continuously produces too much cortisol. This ensures a constant increase in blood sugar and insulin production in order to flee or fight. More often than not, however, that fight or flight response does not occur (because there is no lion to run away from) and so our body stores the glucose as fat for the next emergency, which also does not come! And so, the vicious circle continues. By maintaining a high carbohydrate and sugar intake, weight loss will not take place!
Hence, simply adjusting our diet and exercising more is often not enough. It is very important to pay attention to relaxation as well. A good balance between work, play and a relaxed mind helps us achieve our desired weight and improves the harmony in body, mind and spirit. How?
A daily routine of meditation, yoga, mindfulness and/or breathing techniques offers balance, helps us to relax our busy minds and body, as well as improve our basic lifestyle.
A Health and Wellness Coach from AWR can help you create this greater balance in body, mind and spirit, help set workable goals to improve your lifestyle and and increase your sense of wellbeing and happiness.
(Photo by: Anna Shvets)